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Drennan was synonymous with basketball in Springdale

| Sunday, May 14, 2017, 1:19 a.m.
Dick Drennan
Dick Drennan

After his playing days, Dick Drennan started Springdale's youth baseketball league.

Drennan was so good at training players he developed the person who broke his scoring record at Springdale.

A 1951 Springdale graduate, Drennan was an early standout in coach Chuck DeVenzio's legendary tenure.

He set the school scoring record with 1,027 career points, which lasted until one of his pupils, Greg Martucci, broke the mark in 1985.

Drennan, who died in 2001, will be inducted posthumously at the Alle-Kiski Sports Hall of Fame's 48th induction banquet Saturday at New Kensington Quality Inn.

“He broke the school scoring record and took it away from my dad,” his youngest son, Brad Drennan, said with a laugh. “Four of the five starters on the 1989 WPIAL championship team went through the program.”

The program Brad Drennan is talking about is the Drennan Youth Basketball League, established in 1980.

The organization came about because of the elder Drennan's love for basketball and his willingness to give back to the community.

After graduating from Springdale, Dick Drennan went to Edinboro, where he competed in basketball and track. Ater a two-year stint in the U.S. Army serving in Europe, Drennan returned to Springdale.

He was coach at St. Alphonsus Catholic School for several years and, later, was part of the Catholic Youth Organization, taking CYO teams to various basketball tournament throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley.

“He was very dedicated to basketball and very dedicated to teaching basketball because it changed his life,” Brad Drennan said. “Teaching and mentoring kids was a major part of his life.”

By 1980, Dick Drennan's name becane synonymous with Springdale basketball and it's local youth programs.

“He and Ken Lloyd started the league,” Brad Drennan said. “The people running it have kept it going and turned into a very positive basketball experience.”

Brad, a 1984 Springdale graduate, watched his two older brothers, Todd and Kirk, play for the Dynamos.Basketball was such a big part of the Drennan family, when Dick and his wife, Barb, bought a home on Bucknell Street in Springdale Township, he broke ground for a basketball court in the backyard.

“It was, basically, a playground for the whole neighborhood,” Brad Drennan said. “Later, he put in a water fountain, and I asked him how come he didn't put that in when I was there.”

The Drennans shoveled snow off the court in the winter, and when the weather was too bad, dribbling and other fundamentals were practiced in the basement.

Though it is 16 years after Dick Drennan's death, the Drennan Youth Basketball League is part of many people's Saturday mornings at Springdale Junior High School.

Dick Drennan also worked for 40 years at PPG-Springdale, where he was a quality control chemist.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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